Review of 'Coast' by RBSA Volunteer, Vicki Opomu
02 July 2012
RBSA Gallery’s Craft Gallery ‘Coast’ Exhibition
18 June – 31 August
When I heard the theme of the latest RBSA Gallery’s Craft Gallery exhibition was ‘Coast’, my first thoughts were rather obvious - fun days out with the family, tranquillity, sun, sea, sand and salty sea air brushing against my skin. The crafted gems on display reminded me of these but also much more so I have selected three makers who I found particularly interesting…
Lok Ming Fung’s ceramic-based work is organic, minimal, colourful and beautiful to look at. The aesthetic of her work is distinctive and the effortless transition from interior products to jewellery is seamless. The ‘Oohhh’ boxes are clever; useful containers based on Japanese Inro boxes and Russian dolls. The concept behind this collection is to add mystery and a surprise element to these ceramic beauties. To allow the receiver to choose the purpose of the ‘Oohhh’ box and cherish the box and its contents.
Ann Morgan’s use of found objects from the beach adds a sense of adventure and tells a story to the audience. The sculptural nature of the found objects are remarkable, especially when she has crafted them into wearable jewellery. The finished pieces are unique and will stand out beautifully on the wearer. The different use of materials - driftwood, copper, cotton rope - give the whole collection a natural, wearable and contemporary feel.
Helen Noakes brings fun and humour to the ‘Coast’ exhibition. Her hand-crafted jewellery consists of colourful miniature figures set in resin. The collection is fascinating to look at and I found myself getting transfixed by the range of little characters. The text imprinted into the silver tells a line of a story or proverb that relates to the figures, adding extra interest and intrigue.
Each designer’s interpretation of the ‘Coast’ theme provides a different exploration of personal ideas and innovative techniques. Including conventional and unconventional materials, the exhibition presents ordinary experiences of the ‘Coast’ through an extraordinary selection of jewellery, ceramics and silverware.
This article was written by Vicki Opomu. Vicki is a RBSA Volunteer and has recently completed a Bachelor Degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.